Plant Operation

IAEA / Capacity Growth For Nuclear ‘Centred In Asia’, Latest Data Show

By David Dalton
26 June 2020

Six units connected to grid, 13 permanently shut down
Capacity Growth For Nuclear ‘Centred In Asia’, Latest Data Show
The Yangjiang nuclear station in China, where a new unit came online in 2019.
Near and long-term capacity growth prospects for the commercial nuclear power industry are centred in Asia, which at the end of 2019 reported some 36.5 GW of nuclear power capacity, or 35 reactors, under construction, the International Atomic Energy Agency has said.

In its nuclear power status data for 2019, the agency said that in 2019, six new pressurised water reactors (PWR) were connected to the grid, resulting in an additional 5,174 MW of nuclear power capacity.

Over 77% of this new capacity was added in Asia and included two reactor units in China at Taishan-2 and Yangjiang-6, and one reactor unit in the South Korea at Shin-Kori-4. In addition, three nuclear power reactor units with a total capacity of 1,174 MW were connected to grid in Russia, including Novovoronezh 2-2 and the world’s first commercial floating nuclear power plant ‘Akademik Lomonosov’, which comprises two units of 30 MW each.

Fifty-four reactors were under construction in 19 countries with a total of capacity of 57,441 MW. Installed nuclear power capacity under construction has largely remained steady in recent years, except for continuous growth in Asia, where a total of 55,067 MW operational capacity, or 61 reactors, has been connected to the grid since 2005.

In 2019, the construction of five PWR reactors began, with two in China (Zhangzhou-1 and Taipingling-1) and one each in Iran (Bushehr-2), Russia (Kursk 2-2) and the UK (Hinkley Point C-2).

Thirteen reactors with a total capacity of 10,196 MW were permanently shut down. Some 47% of the capacity reduction resulting from permanent shutdowns came from five reactors in Japan that had been idle since 2011: Genkai-2, Fukushima-Daini-1, Fukushima-Daini-2, Fukushima-Daini-3 and Fukushima-Daini-4. Other permanently shut down reactors in 2019 were Chinshan-2 in Taiwan, Wolsong-1 in South Korea; Philippsburg-2 in Germany, Ringhals-2 in Sweden; Muehleberg in Switzerland, Bilibino-1 in Russia and Pilgrim-1 and Three Mile Island-1 in the US.

Global operating nuclear power capacity at the end of December 2019 was 392.1 GW, comprising 443 commercially operational nuclear power reactors in 30 countries.

Overall, nuclear power capacity since 2011 has shown a gradual growth trend, including some 23.2 GW of new capacity added by the connection of new units to the grid or upgrades to existing reactors.

In 2019, though, total global capacity decreased by some 4.5 GW compared with 2018, a figure that reflects Japan’s decision to permanently shut down five reactors that had not generated electricity since 2011.

At the end of 2019, over 57.4 GW of capacity, or 54 reactors, was under construction in 19 countries, including four that are building their first nuclear reactor.

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